The Partnership's collective aspiration is that all people achieve a reasonable standard of living with the dignity that comes from having power over their lives and being engaged in and valued by their community.
This aspiration arose out of discussions among the Partnership and diverse stakeholders about how lack of income is a defining principle of the experience of poverty but not the only principle. Many people living in poverty have too little power to determine the course of their lives. And the stigma that attaches to income poverty can be isolating. Therefore, our definition of mobility has three principles: economic success, power and autonomy, and being valued in community.
The Partnership’s recent gathering and site visit in Silicon Valley highlighted the importance of the last two principles. The wide range of experts we consulted with were community residents, including recent immigrants, promotoras, tech leaders, and immigrant service providers and advocates, including Father Jon Pedigo.
Father Jon Pedigo is director of the Catholic Church’s Office of Projects for Peace and Justice in the Diocese of San Jose. His work puts him in touch with a range of people along the extreme ends of the income divide in one of the wealthiest parts of the country. On a windy day outside of San Jose’s city hall, Father Jon, as many call him, described the diversity of people and life circumstances in the Valley: low wages, deprivation, those who are often overlooked in popular depictions of the area, and the type of work that can give voice to the voiceless.